Reply to Gallagher: Different conceptions of embodiment


Authors
Thomas Metzinger
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Abstract
Gallagher is right in pointing out that scientific realism is an implicit background assumption of BNO, and that I did not give an independent argument for it. He is also right in saying that science does not _demonstrate_ the existence of certain entities, but that it assumes those entities in a process of explanation and theory formation. However, it is not true that science, as Gallagher writes (p.2), “simply” assumes the reality of certain things: such assumptions are embedded in the context of an attempt to find the_ minimal _ set of ontological assumptions one has to make relative to a set of explanatory goals and relative to a specific data set in a certain domain. This parsimonious spirit is also the <blockquote> PSYCHE: http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/ </blockquote> spirit of SMT, which can be seen as a search for the minimal conditions under which a phenomenal self and a consciously experienced first-person perspective can emerge
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